I believe that everyone has a purpose. It's the thing you do best, and that best expresses who you are. It's not always what you feel like doing, or what most needs doing, it's what you feel compelled, or "called" to do, from somewhere deep inside.
Though I am guilty of a superficial ambition for fame and fortune, my actual purpose in is something deeper and lovelier. When I moved to Philadelphia in 2006 to make music full-time, after a soul-clarifying summer in San Francisco, I brought with me the following statement, written on a little green note card:
My purpose as a musician is to write and perform bravely, passionately, playfully, and honestly. By doing so, I intend to move people and open hearts.
In other words, I want to help people experience what Joseph Campbell calls "the rapture of being alive". This is my purpose in life, not just in music, but making music is an excellent way to get the job done (partly because music has always been the most reliable way for ME to experience said rapture). After four years and about 400 shows, that's still what I mean to do, every time I get on stage.
When I get an attack of the WTFs, they usually start with a superficial question. For instance: "Why didn't you play better, just now?" or, "Why aren't YOU headlining at that venue?" The question behind the question is this: "Are you really serving your purpose?" And the answer is, I don't know. My purpose is not something measurable, or even visible. It's about small changes that happen in people's hearts. I can't possibly know, unless you tell me.
So, I'm writing this post, with great reluctance and biting of nails, to ask for your help. If my music has moved you, I would like to hear about it. Your responses will not be published anywhere, and I don't need the details, unless you want to share them. Just send me an email, and tell me that you're there, you hear me, and it's working.